Posted: January 3, 2008 5:40 PM
Paul Volunteers Try to Warm Up Campaign in Chilly Iowa
Temperatures in Iowa are below freezing for Thursday’s caucuses, but supporters of at least one Republican candidate are feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
It may seem that no less than one million articles have been written in recent days about the love being felt among volunteers for the campaign of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex. Paul’s campaign is about “rEVOLution” of course — that’s the word “LOVE” spelled backwards. Perhaps you’ve seen the banners or maybe the Ron Paul Blimp or heard about his unprecedented online fundraising effort.
Paul volunteers have been descending upon Iowa in the hundreds since Dec. 14, the first day of the Ron Paul Christmas Vacation in Iowa, which officially runs till Friday. They’ve been staying in cabins and budget motels and going door-to-door in a late push for caucus voters.
The push seems to be having some impact. A poll from CNN shows Paul tied with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for fifth place, while a poll from the Des Moines Register has Paul tied with former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson for fourth. Both of the polls show Paul with 9 percent of the vote, which is impressive considering he hovers around 4 percent in nationwide polls.
Thursday afternoon at Des Moines University, Paul gave a speech about healthcare. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the event “was positively charged up, with about 300 students cheering him on as he talked about vaccines (the government shouldn’t mandate them), the FDA (it should be done away with) and the war in Iraq (the U.S. should get out now).”
Asked by the press if he intended to drop out or tell his delegates to vote for anyone as a second choice candidate, Paul said, ”Why would I do that?”
Paul is set to give his final speech Thursday evening in Waterloo before the caucuses begin and will attend a post-caucus reception in Des Moines.